RAVENSWOOD - The third time was the charm for the Williamstown High boys soccer team Tuesday.
After falling to Ravenswood High twice during the regular season, the Yellowjackets pulled off a 3-1 upset over the Red Devils in sectional play to keep their season alive.
"We played the same," said Williamstown head coach Telma Poole when asked what the difference was between Tuesday's game and the first two.
Photo by Jordan Holland
Williamstown’s Dakota Hammer races ahead of Ravenswood’s Nate Schiefer while tracking down the ball during their Class AA/A sectional semifinal match at Ravenswood Tuesday night. Williamstown won 3-1.
"We played tough. We played very well. I think this time maybe we had a little more luck."
Williamstown struck first Tuesday when freshman Joshua Dietz handled a ball in the left corner and booted it just over the keeper's finger-tips and into the back of the net during the 19th minute.
It remained a 1-0 game until three minutes and 15 seconds into the second half, when Dalton Gandee launched a free kick that hit off the left pole and deflected into the net for a Ravenswood goal.
Now tied up at 1-all, it appeared most of the momentum was now in the Red Devils' favor. That changed at the 28:20 mark.
Willamstown's Kelton Hutchins got past the defense and was on his way to a shot attempt when he was pushed to the ground by a Ravenswood defender in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick.
Brandon McPherson set up for the kick and booted it to the left side of the net, out of the reach of the goalkeeper, to put the 'Jackets back on top at 2-1.
Ravenswood is a team known for its physicality, which Poole said may have led to the second goal.
"They play physical," Poole said. "They're very strong. They use their body, and that's how we got the second goal."
Just under a minute later, Ravenswood's Pat Berry had a good look at a goal but Williamstown keeper Ian Hostottle made a nice diving save to preserve the lead.
In the 59th minute, the Yellowjackets got a crucial insurance goal.
Jonathan Petty hit a corner kick that deflected off a Ravenswood player. Isaac Bosgraf recovered it and made a beautiful pass to David Wigal, who punched it in for the score.
The Red Devils had a couple looks at potential goals in the remaining 20 minutes, but Hostottle was a brick wall, preserving the lead and securing the victory.
Hostottle was able to withstand 19 shot attempts by Ravenswood, recording 14 saves and allowing just the one goal.
Williamstown got off 14 shot attempts in the contest.
The Yellowjackets now have their sights set on Parkersburg Catholic, which defeated St. Marys 6-0 following the Williamstown - Ravenswood game.
The 'Jackets and Crusaders will square off Thursday at Ravenswood at 6 p.m. The winner will be crowned sectional champions.
"I think a lot of people did not believe in us because we started the season not too good," Poole said. "That's how we've built the team to improve and do much better."
Parkersburg Catholic 6,
St. Marys 0
Five first-half goals by four different individuals enabled Parkersburg Catholic to defeat St. Marys 6-0 and advance to the sectional championship for the first time in the program's history.
"This is just wonderful," PCHS coach Shane Hartshorn said. "This has been a stellar year and we've done more than we could have ever imagined.
"The last two years we have broke almost every record that Parkersburg Catholic has ever had. That speaks highly of the senior class and the junior class as well, along with the younger kids."
Luke Cardenas put the Crusaders on the board four minutes into the match off an assist by Brady Kurucz. PCHS was held in check until the 14:14 mark when Peter Keiser's goal off a Christian Richards assist left St. Marys trailing 2-0.
In the next seven minutes, PCHS tacked on three more goals - including one by Kurucz and another by Richards. The Crusaders were also beneficiaries of an own goal.
Keiser's unassisted goal at the 7:55 mark of the second half completed the scoring.
"In the first half, we worked the ball and we played soccer instead of kick ball," Hartshorn said. "The first 20 minutes, we looked like we were taking our time and not really pressing. That worked really well and wore St. Marys out. We found the goal a lot easier."
With the win the 15-8 Crusaders have nearly lapped their previous high of eight. They will face a Williamstown unit which they have defeated 1-0 on two occasions during the regular season.
"Williamstown had more intensity than Ravenswood," Hartshorn said. "Finishing will be the key on Thursday. We've outshot them by a 3-to-1 margin both times during the regular season, but we just have to finish.